Landscape Renovations: New House Feel Without Buying A New Home

residential installation - sod

Curb appeal is a big deal to home sellers and homebuyers, but the thrill of a great landscape isn’t exclusive to folks on the move. If you’re comfortably settled and like your location, landscape renovations give you the opportunity to reinvent the look and feel of your home without buying a new house.


When you’ve lived in your home for a few seasons, you’ve had time to realize what works well and what doesn’t in your landscape. You’ve seen the places in the yard that are problematic. Do any of these sound familiar?

  • Lawn and driveway spots that fill with puddles
  • Sun beating down (or wind roaring through) bare spots in the yard
  • No outdoor seating or inviting recreation areas
  • Overgrown shrubs and trees that bend or break under the weight of winter weather
  • Sickly or moss-invaded lawn
  • No privacy
  • Boring views

A landscape renovation is doubly gratifying when you’re solving irritating problems and adding beauty and function to the home you love. Here are three approaches to getting a refreshing new house feel without packing a single box.


Out With the Old

Are existing plants or shrubs sick or overcrowded? Are they unattractive? Maybe they’re simply too high maintenance for your busy schedule. Getting rid of overgrown plantings creates a clean look, encourages healthy growth of what’s left, and helps control pest problems.


Update and Upgrade


Decks and Patios

Has a weatherbeaten deck or concrete patio caused drainage issues for way too long? Exchange it for a paver patio. New eco-friendly materials are available in more colors and shapes than ever before. They’re great for controlling runoff and can enhance the overall look and feel of your home by complementing its style.


Paver patio with table and barbecue

To take full advantage of all pavers can offer, choose a product specifically designed to allow gaps and drainage. Mutual Materials offers a variety of Eco-Priora® and Eco-Stone® options that can be laid in attractive patterns for patios, driveways, and pathways.


Lawn and Plantings

When garden beds are new, it’s easy for excited homeowners to overplant. However, what started as a pretty riot of color can become a tangled, stunted mess as plants compete for the space they need in maturity. Updating your plants by thinning and pruning significantly improves their performance and health over time.


Consider exchanging labor intensive exotic plants for native specimens. They’re naturally adapted to the climate and require little assistance to grow and thrive. Adding pollinator-friendly native plant material is another way to offer an environmentally positive benefit to your local ecosystem.


frontier landscaping


Instead of replacing your lawn, redo it. Green spaces play an important part in maintaining high air quality and a temperate climate. Foot for foot, a healthy lawn will outperform even an eco-friendly paver patio with superior drainage and clean water benefits.


Shrubs and Trees

If your shrubs and trees have been left unattended for their first few seasons, it’s not too late to retrain them for better function and safety. With timely intervention and consistent maintenance, retraining reduces the risk of failure around your home. After all, a well-kept hedgerow is much less likely to buckle and break during the winter time than an overgrown one.


Leyland Cypress broken in snow and trimmed for hedge

Before and after pruning: Leyland Cypress / Cupressus × leylandii

Example: Leyland Cypress
The mighty Cupressus × leylandii has the unfortunate distinction of being the #1 evergreen that Frontier Tree Service sees split apart due to winter failure. While the problem is based in the tree’s genetics, young Leyland Cypress trees do well when retrained as hedges. Hardier than arborvitae, they make excellent screens as they grow to maturity.


Irrigation technology has come a long way. Nowadays, remote timers and high-efficiency systems offer the most cost-effective and environmentally conscious solution for watering your property. Replace an old ‘spray and pay’ sprinkler system with efficient drip irrigation and a rain sensor to shut off sprinklers when it’s raining to save water. Click to learn more about Frontier Landscaping irrigation services.


Beautiful Additions



While the first years in a new home can be preoccupied with settling in, as time goes on it’s natural to want to more fully express your style on the exterior as well as within. Basic landscapes don’t usually include the richly textured details that take a landscape from ordinary to breathtaking. If you’re ready to really enjoy your views from indoors and out, consider adding structure and depth with one or more of the following pieces:

Are you ready to update your landscape’s look? Frontier Landscaping Inc was established in 1988 for the purpose of providing customers with a full-service landscape experience. We specialize in high-end residential landscapes, but we’re available for projects of any scope and size. Contact us today to talk about transforming your landscape with an attractive, inviting look and feel.



Fan the flames of inspiration by visiting our photo-filled Ideabooks on Houzz – the #1 site in the world for home and landscape renovation ideas:

Frontier Landscaping Joins NALP Safe Company Program

NALP Safe Company Program Logo


VANCOUVER, Wa. , Dec 28, 2016  — The National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) is pleased to announce the addition of Frontier Landscaping as a participant in the NALP Safe Company Program, sponsored by CNA Business Insurance.


The Safe Company Program is a new safety initiative developed by NALP. The goal: to assist landscape and lawn care companies in their efforts to provide a safe work environment.


Participants sign the Safe Company Pledge that commits them to maintaining an active safety program within their company.  Professional companies make safety a priority. They take an active role through safety training and investigation and documentation of job-related injuries. They are expected to comply with all OSHA postings and other regulatory requirements.  Additionally, participants pledge to participate in the NALP Safety Recognition Awards Program. 


“At Frontier Landscaping, we have a long history of employing highly-skilled specialists. These team members consistently devote hours of study to maintaining their professional certificates. Continuing education is important to all of us. Participating in the new NALP Safe Company Program is an exciting way to continue demonstrating our commitment to safety and best practices in our industry.”  


For more information about the NALP Safe Company Program, visit landscapeprofessionals.org, call NALP at 800- 395-2522, or email [email protected].


Safety meeting Frontier Landscaping NALP Safe Company program

Regular safety meetings are one important way the crew at Frontier Landscaping demonstrates our team’s commitment to delivering the very best responsible, reliable services to the Clark County and Portland Metro communities we serve.



 More About Frontier Landscaping

Established in February 1988, Frontier Landscaping, Inc., is a multi-award winning company providing landscape, maintenance, and tree care services for residential and commercial properties throughout SW Washington and the Portland Metro area.



  • National Association of Landscape Professionals
  • Washington Association of Landscape Professionals
  • International Society of Arboriculture
  • Building Industry Association of Clark County
  • Vancouver Downtown Association
  • Washington State Farm Bureau


Certifications and Awards

Best of Clark County 2016

“Albina Fuel Award – Outstanding Corporate Partner” from the Vancouver Downtown Association (VDA)


More About NALP

The National Association of Landscape Professionals represents an industry that employs nearly 1 million landscape, lawn care, irrigation and tree care professionals who create and maintain healthy green spaces for the benefit of society and the environment. For more information, visit LoveYourLandscape.org.

Residential Landscape Construction Foreman

We are currently looking for a high end residential landscape construction foreman. Are you hard working, dependable and motivated with a valid drivers license? Then we’re the company for you!

Experience required in:
– Hardscape
– Softscape
– Irrigation
– Water Features
– Plants/Trees
– Lawns
– Running jobs from start to finish
– Able to perform tasks with little to no supervision

Must have a valid drivers license with clean record and insurable by company insurance.

$500.00 Hiring bonus after 60 days min. with good attendance.

If this sounds like you then definitely apply!

Thank You,

Shaun Schmitt
Construction Manager
Frontier Landscaping Inc.
11402 NE St. Johns Rd.
Vancouver, WA. 98686
Office: 360-574-8979
Fax : 360-574-6862
[email protected]

Download Application and mail it in, or Apply Online

11402 NE St. Johns Road Vancouver, WA 98686

or email it to [email protected]

Maintenance Foreman

Maintenance Foreman Needed

  • Experience in running a crew
  • Drivers License
  • Attention to detail
  • Knowledge of all maintenance equipment
  • Plant knowledge
  • Proper pruning techniques
  • Attention to detail
  • Punctual attendance a must

Thank You,
Casey McBride
Maintenance Sales Manager
Frontier Landscaping INC
(360) 574-8979

Download Application and mail it in, or Apply Online

11402 NE St. Johns Road Vancouver, WA 98686

or email it to [email protected]

Maintenance Laborer

Frontier Landscaping is in search of hardworking individuals with experience in Landscape Maintenance. We are looking to fill the Laborer positions. The ideal candidate will have the following attributes:

1. Experience in Maintenance equipment
2. Ability to work individually and as a team.
3. Pass pre-employment drug test
4. Attention to detail in providing high quality service to customers
5. Punctual attendance a must.

Thank You,
Casey McBride
Maintenance Sales Manager
Frontier Landscaping INC
(360) 574-8979

Download Application and mail it in, or Apply Online

11402 NE St. Johns Road Vancouver, WA 98686

or email it to [email protected]

The Truth About Going Green with Hardscaping

We enjoy working with homeowners who want to use ‘green’, earth-friendly practices in their landscaping. After all, making decisions about land and water use in environmentally responsible ways feels great.


However, we’ve realized that there are some common assumptions about “going green” that are not always on target, particularly with regards to hardscaping. With that in mind, we’re glad to share what we know to help you avoid missteps.


With a little understanding, you can be confident that your results will be in line with your goals for a beautiful, sustainable landscape.


Going Green with Pavers


Going green with Eco Priora Gray Mutual Materials permeable paver drivewayWithout question, pavers are hugely popular for creating patios, pathways, and even driveways.

Hailed as earth-friendly heroes, they’ve moved into the top spot over concrete for two reasons: they’re available in a wide range of beautiful materials, shapes, colors and sizes, and they are marketed as a solution to handle runoff faster and more responsibly than concrete.

This is true if you use the right paver, but often some drainage is still needed.

While they do allow some water through easily, if you really want to guarantee these benefits in your landscape, you must choose a truly permeable paver for the job. Standard pavers are hard packed with sand and compacted gravel beneath them and product inbetween.


Permeable Pavers Pro Tip


To be sure your patio, pathway, or driveway gets the full advantages pavers can offer, choose a product specifically designed to allow gaps and drainage. While pretty versions of these materials used to be few and far between, innovators in the industry are now offering solutions that are beautiful to look at and effective. Locally, we partner with Mutual Materials to offer a variety of Eco-Priora® and Eco-Stone® options that can be laid in attractive patterns for patios, driveways, and pathways.


Mutual Materials permeable pavers


Hardscaping and Lawn Loss


Replacing turf lawn with hardscaping is another trend where it’s easy to get tripped up. Hardscaping is dramatic, beautiful, visually interesting, and requires less water use and less maintenance that keeping a lawn. It’s easy to assume that getting rid of the lawn is the right answer.


On the other hand, as more and more property owners are replacing trees and grass with hardscaping on the West Coast, it’s becoming clear that lawns have significant earth-friendly advantages of their own.


Miles Parade of Homes front yard lawn irrigation flowerbed installation


Green spaces and trees absorb heat and clean the air with their intake of carbon monoxide, two of the primary reasons the Pacific Northwest enjoys such high air quality and a temperate climate. Foot for foot, a healthy lawn will outperform even an eco-friendly paver patio with superior drainage and its clean water benefits.


Lawn Loss Pro Tip


Plan for balance, not elimination. Even a small yard can be designed to keep a percentage of everything: lawn, beds, plantings, and hardscaping.


Remember that nearly every element of your residential or commercial landscape can be designed with environmental responsibility in mind. Our expert team loves working with home and business owners to use the best practices available.


Learn More About Going Green In Your Landscape:

Solving Water Problems With Dry Creek Beds

Dry creek bed, drainage solution, solving water problems

Dry creek beds provide attractive, functional relief, especially if your landscape is plagued by standing water. In the wet PNW, drainage problems are a common headache. Do any of these sound familiar?

  • Floostanding water in lawnded flower beds
  • Pooling water below a deck
  • Swampy places in the lawn
  • Puddles around a foundation

Leaving drainage issues unaddressed has serious consequences, from dead lawn and plants to costly repairs and decreased property value.


The Good News

Frontier Landscaping has years of experience designing and implementing features that effectively carry water away from problem areas. Dry creek beds are star performers, particularly in sloped terrain. They work twice as hard for a landscape by running water from Point A to B, and standing alone as an attractive feature in drier months of the year.

“Even property owners with no drainage issues may choose to install a dry creek bed due to the elements of natural beauty in the way they look.”

dry creek bed with ornamental plantings as an attractive drainage solutioon


Controlling Water Flow

Dry creek beds are an excellent choice for addressing places in the landscape that are hard-hit by heavy rains.  While a flat place in the yard may benefit more from a simple lawn drain, gradients and hillsides need the water capacity and speed that a dry creek bed can provide during extreme conditions. Effectively redirecting the flow of water saves you from ongoing erosion and long-term damage.


Water-Wise Gardening

When property owners are looking for a greener way to landscape, dry creek beds play an exciting role. Different-sized rocks, boulders, and choice plantings give eye-pleasing texture to outdoor spaces, but require much less water than an expanse of lawn. While bark dust alone can look flat, a dry creek bed introduces definition and contrast. It’s aesthetically pleasing and earth-friendly — a winning combination.


Dry Creek Beds for Natural Beauty

We regularly install dry creek beds to add natural beauty to a landscape. Expertly balancing a few key ingredients (a natural shape, native plantings, multiple sizes of stone) brings a natural, organic flow to an area. The results are breathtaking in any season, wet or dry.  


Additional Considerations

No two landscapes are exactly alike, and the solution that works for one may not work for another.  While dry creek beds are particularly suited to slopes and hillsides, they aren’t usually the best choice for flat ground.

Other elements, like French drains, catch basins, and lawn drains also have a part to play — and that’s just the beginning. Frontier’s installation team has years of experience solving drainage problems for local property owners.  


French drain pipe and garden path installation

French drain pipe (L), installed as a garden path (R). 


French drains are a functional solution for flat terrain and less water. They often have a part to play in designing an overall solution for moving water in a landscape. Read more about them here.


surface water catch basin diagram


Ranging in size from 6 to 24 inches, catch basins can be square or circular. These grated drains are typically placed alongside a driveway or in a low or sloped spot in the yard or hardscaping, like a patio. This is a straightforward fix for diverting water away from wet spots. A blend of rocks around it allows the catch basin to blend in with the landscape.

From basic to beautiful, there are many combinations of elements we can put to work that provide an effective long-term solution for drainage issues in your landscape.

Ready to learn how can we help you solve your standing water problems? Call (360) 574-8979 or email us for a consultation. We’ll work with you to protect your landscape with the right drainage solution to meet your needs.

Find more inspiration for dry creek beds and landscape design by visiting us on Houzz!


Inside The Design: Parade of Homes Landscape 2016

Before and After: 2016 Parade of Homes landscape frontierlandscaping.com Vancouver WA

Before and After: 2016 Parade of Homes

We love the ‘wow’ factor of a new landscape. After all, delivering amazing results is a trademark of our business. Does it surprise you to learn that up to 20% of the work that creates these transformations is invisible once the job is complete?

A gorgeous finished project is what you see, but decades of experience lie beneath the surface. Here are six considerations that went into creating our 2016 Parade of Homes landscape in Ridgefield, WA.

Parade of Homes Back Yard BEFORE soil prep ridgefield wa

We Love Your Dirt

It may not be glamorous, but we’re serious about getting soil preparation right. While choosing plants, lights, and water features is fun, it’s no exaggeration to say that every landscaping success begins in the soil.

For this project, we tilled in 2-3 inches of 3-way soil to improve the existing clay soil. While new county codes require this improvement, we have long encouraged homeowners to take this important step.

Benefits of Soil Improvement
  • Helps break down clay
  • Provides higher water and nutrient penetration
  • Reduces runoff
  • Lawn and plants: better structure for root systems, less pests, fewer weeds

Smarter Water

Water-wise irrigation begins weeks ahead of the sprinkler heads you’ll see around a yard. We plan with integrity. Using drip irrigation around shrubs saves money and waste. A rain sensor to shut off irrigation on wet days and nights is environmentally-friendly.

Rain Bird
offers a solid warranty on their products and is one of Frontier’s preferred providers. We take advantage of position and ability to purchase high-grade, long-lasting systems for our clients.  

After installation, our
irrigation specialists remain available to evaluate your yard’s changing needs, including backflow testing, spring startup, and winterization to keep your investment safe.

Miles Parade of Homes front yard lawn irrigation flowerbed landscape installation


This gorgeous lawn owes its beauty to our first consideration — improving the soil. With a rich layer of amended soil, lawns and plants will flourish from the start.

Additional considerations to keep things in perfect shape include regular lime and fertilizer application, gypsum, aeration, and more based on seasonal needs. Our maintenance department tailors a care plan to each yard that goes well beyond weed control.

Lighting The Night

LED lighting is applauded for its energy efficiency, but quality design goes beyond illuminating entrances and pathways for security. Artfully-placed uplights bring out texture in trees and rockery, while a well-lit water features adds elegant beauty to nighttime views.

Creative illumination extends a home’s sense of outdoor living long after the sun goes down.


Let Nature Lead

The combination of moving water, textured rocks, and clusters of plants is eye-catching in nature, and we follow suit for creating beauty around a home. This pond, deep enough for fish, is designed with hiding places to protect them from raccoons and birds, while a high-quality filtration/skimmer system keeps things clean.

frontier landscaping-parade-of-homes-2016-back-yard-water-feature-collagemiles-parade-of-homes-2016-back-yard-water-feature-collage

Fresh plantings are carefully spaced to allow mature growth in coming seasons. Use of accent rockery and boulders throughout the landscape gives texture and dimension.

Ever mindful of security, a double-lining and a layer of sand below the base of water features ensures they’re stabilized for long-lasting enjoyment.


miles-parade-of-homes-2016-bubbler water feature

Size matters. We determine the perfect scale to deliver pleasant sights and sounds from water features to the house windows both day and night.


The Crowning Touch

Perfect plant choices bring together beauty and function. Things we are always keeping in mind for a home include:

  • Attracting hummingbirds, pollinators, and beneficial insects
  • Creating bird habitat
  • Screening for privacy
  • Protecting from wind
  • Softening sharp angles
  • Opportunities for edibles and harvests

miles-parade-of-homes-2016-water-feature-ornamental plantings

The right plants offer a wide variety of benefits as well as complement a home’s style. The finishing touch is a layer of bark dust. It’s pretty to look at and also suppresses weeds and retains moisture. Low-voltage and LED lighting illuminate trees and flowerbeds so the views are enjoyable in the evenings, too.

Frontier Landscaping Inc was established in 1988 for the purpose of providing customers with a full-service landscape experience. We specialize in high-end residential landscapes, but we’re available for projects of any scope and size.


Parade of Homes 2016 Miles Back Patio

Back Patio – 2016 Parade of Homes

We have been customers of Frontier Landscaping since October of 1995. They did the landscaping on our current home and have maintained it ever since. I can’t say enough good things about the Frontier Landscaping office and crew. They have always been very professional and responsive to anything we have asked for.


We are currently building a new home that will be featured in this year’s Parade of Homes and once again they are doing all of our landscaping. Steve, Shaun and the rest of the crew have really done an excellent job. They fully landscaped 3/4 of an acre that includes two incredible water features, landscape lighting, several beds, sprinkler system, and numerous plantings. Throughout the process they kept me informed, gave me great advice and finished on time! We couldn’t be happier and don’t hesitate to recommend them.

~Shannon and Todd


Let’s Design Your Dream Landscape…With Houzz

Find Frontier Landscaping on Houzz


 What is Houzz?

Houzz is a website and online community designed to put meaningful resources in the hands of homeowners ready to make change.

It started as a side project by a couple frustrated with their remodeling efforts. They couldn’t find the tool they needed to make communicating their ideas easy. They used their frustrations to build the solution they needed. Now, the Houzz community numbers more than 40 million people worldwide.

Frontier Landscaping is a proud member of the Houzz Pro community. Now it’s easier than ever to collaborate. With Houzz, it’s a breeze to explain exactly what you have in mind. Planning your dream landscape has never been more convenient–or fun!


Use the Houzz app to connect with Frontier Landscaping Vancouver WA

Inspiration On The Go

On the Houzz website or mobile app, you have access to photos, articles, and product recommendations. You can browse specific portfolios, or by general category. It’s designed for convenience: the site displays perfectly whether you’re on your phone, tablet, or web browser.

Look at real-world examples and ideas for your side yard, patio, fire pit, or outdoor lighting. You can ask questions or initiate a discussion about what you see. Pin down exactly what you like with regards to style and materials.


houzz ideabooks frontier landscaping vancouver wa

“Ideabooks” are photo albums filled with ideas. Browse them for inspiration. Save photos you like to your own Ideabooks as you go. Additionally, if you see something that you have a question about, you can ask and get answers, right in Houzz.


Collaborating Is Easier Than Ever

After you’ve decided on the look, feel, and products that you want to bring into your home, you can share them them directly with us on Houzz. We can give feedback and build on your ideas while literally being on the same page.

Best of all, this gives your project a head start. Instead of spending our first few meetings trying to figure out what you want, we already have a good idea of what you’re looking for.

How To Use Houzz

how to find frontier landscaping vancouver washington houzz

  • Write a review. Reviews are the best way to help others connect with the qualified professionals they need. Do your fellow homeowners a favor. Let them know what it’s like to work with us.
  • Start browsing! Save photos you like to your own albums. When you’re ready to meet, you can share your ideas with us directly.

Whether you’re updating or building, Houzz is an excellent place to get inspiration for what you’d like to do–and then get connected to your local pros to get it done. Join the community! We are looking forward to collaborating with you. Start Now



Four Ways to Set a Mood With LED Lighting Outdoors

low voltage lighting LED lighting outdoor landscape


LED lighting continues its rise as a top trend for homeowners looking to get the most out of their landscape design. While low-voltage lighting is a traditional favorite, LEDs offer their own distinct range of benefits. It’s hard to resist the serious energy efficiency, ease of control, and nearly limitless design possibilities available to reflect your style.

Whether it’s bringing the view from your windows to life, or creating an outdoor room that’s welcoming and comfortable, LED lighting is a versatile and sustainable choice to fulfill your vision.

Light with Purpose: Set The Mood

First of all, what atmosphere do you want to create around your home after dark? With the right lights, you’ll trade flat, dull views for textured visual interest that increases your sense of enjoyable living space.

“Most people don’t realize this, but the backyard is a whole new room that they haven’t explored fully,” says HGTV outdoor lighting designer Michael Sestak. “You have the option to go beyond that light bulb at the doorway.”

Romance: Inviting Natural Charm

Use lighting to create a romantic view from your windows after sundown. Gently illuminated paths and layered accent lighting around plants and rockery creates a sweet invitation to savor your yard in the evenings.

If you’re a fan of a naturally-styled landscape, use delicate lighting to play across water features. In addition, the right shade of light bulb will echo the blue tones of moonlight.  Consider soft uplights into your trees to showcase their shapes and textures.


Serenity: Relax and Enjoy

If you’re busy working during daylight hours, maximize your sense of rest and comfort around the places you enjoy when you’re at home. Tasteful accent lighting in shrubs and plantings around your deck, fire pit, or hot tub creates a relaxing atmosphere to enjoy a glass of wine and good company at the end of the day.

With the wide variety of LED lighting fixtures now available, it’s easy to carry over your design choices from inside your home to your outdoor space as well. This keeps a sense of natural flow to all of the living and entertaining areas you share with your guests.

“The right lighting can take any outdoor space from invisible to inviting,” explains Kate Campbell of HGTV’s “Decked Out” series. “Adding dimmable LED lighting to railing and stairs not only adds atmosphere but also enhances safety and security – and extends the time you can spend enjoying your outdoor living space.”

Excitement: Flaunt What You’ve Got

Gardening enthusiasts, use dynamic lighting to showcase your favorite trees, shrubs and flowerbeds. Additionally, don’t be afraid to exchange perfect symmetry for more irregular placement of your lights. This gives an organic feel that naturally complements each layer of your garden. With the right lights, you’ll lead the gaze of your viewers without overpowering your beautiful plants.

Do you have dramatic trees? Emphasize their structure and foliage with uplights, which enhances their scale and creates beautiful shadows.


Power: Forever First Impressions

Effective lighting strategies for your front yard sends curb appeal soaring with a few simple tweaks. Don’t settle for basic porch and walkway lighting. Set off an interesting front door or stonework with fixtures that showcase the uniqueness of your home. This creates powerful first impressions at walk-up (or drive-by). A small yard looks even larger when you bring lighting closer to the curb. Work the perimeters of your space for maximum impact.


Frontier LED Lighting Installation Services

In conclusion, outdoor LED lighting is a great fit for homeowners who want more from their landscape. It’s an environmentally-friendly solution that saves a lot of money over the long haul. Frontier offers low-voltage and LED lighting installation for new homes as well as retro-fitting existing landscapes. Contact us for a free consultation! We’d love to help you create the perfect setting around your home. Give us a call at (360) 574-8979, or send us an email: [email protected].


Additional Information


Call us today for a free quote on all your landscaping needs!